When people go to work every day, they expect to go through the same routine as usual. They do not typically think about what would happen if they were to be involved in an accident at work. Regardless of what an individual’s profession is, there is always the possibility of an accident happening at work. If an accident does occur, employees should feel comfortable knowing that workers’ compensation is available to them if they become injured on the job.
If an employee is injured at work, financial compensation is available to them. Workers’ compensation is insurance that the majority of employers are required to have in case their employees become injured on the job. Most workers in New Jersey are covered by the insurance. This includes domestic workers and farm workers. However, independent contractors are not usually covered. Workers’ compensation exists so employees do not lose their jobs if they are hurt at work. Through the compensation, they are able to collect benefits that help them while they are unable to work. It can cover medical bills, lost wages, and any lost future wages. In addition to this, employees may have the right to other benefits such as:
- Medical care
- Supplemental benefits
- Social security benefits
- Death benefits
- Long term benefits in the event that they are no longer able to work
If an employee is injured at work, it is important that they report the accident to their employer immediately. After a claim is filed, the individual may receive temporary total disability payments if they are unable to return to work after the accident. The claim will be reviewed to determine if the individual and their injury are covered under Workers’ Compensation Laws. It is important to know that, when a conclusion is reached, both parties have the right to appeal the decision.
Who is Responsible?
When an individual is injured at work, they are able to sue their employer to hold them responsible. However, this can create an uncomfortable work environment. Instead of going after an employer for compensation, workers’ compensation is available to employees. When this happens, neither the employee or employer is held responsible for any injuries.
This protects both parties involved, as employees are not able to pursue legal action against an employer if they are receiving workers’ compensation. However, the circumstances can change if a third party was involved in the accident.
Third Party Lawsuits
Even though legal action cannot be taken against an employer if the employee receives workers’ compensation, they may be able to do so against a third party. If another party is responsible for the injury, they can be held responsible while the employee still collects workers’ compensation. To prove liability, the employee must prove the third party knew about, or should have known about, the conditions that caused their injury with evidence. If the lawsuit is successful and the employee wins further compensation, they may be required to pay back the workers’ compensation they previously received.
Contact our Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident and wishes to seek legal counsel, contact the Law Office of Christopher T. Howell, Esq. today.